Ed Boon wanted each character from Mortal Kombat 1 to be played by a famous actor
Mortal Kombat 1 features two major actors, with Megan Fox as Nitara and Jean-Claude Van Damme as an alternate skin and voice pack for Johnny Cage. How...
Mortal Kombat 1 features two major actors, with Megan Fox as Nitara and Jean-Claude Van Damme as an alternate skin and voice pack for Johnny Cage. However, Ed Boon didn't want to stop there and once envisioned the entire roster of Mortal Kombat 1 being portrayed by renowned celebrities.
This is happening despite the questionable quality of the celebrities with whom Mortal Kombat has collaborated so far, including in Mortal Kombat 1 itself. Fans have predominantly reacted critically to Fox's performance as Nitara, and the Van Damme skin has also faced criticism for its poor synchronization and lack of resemblance to the actor.
"One of the ideas I was toying with for this game [...], but we didn't execute, was, 'What if every character in this game was played by an actor?'" says Ed Boon in an interview with Rolling Stone. "So, we would have gotten Keanu Reeves to play Kenshi. It's sort of a pipe dream."
What if we made a game where an actor, a famous and recognizable actor, played every character, and Johnny Cage was definitely played by Jean-Claude Van Damme?
As we can see from the main cast, this plan was obviously never implemented. Boon cites logistical concerns as the reason for not pursuing it, rather than a desire to stick with actors primarily working in video games.
"Many actors don't realize how demanding video games actually are," says Boon. "When you commit to it, you're not just going to the recording studio for an hour and calling it a day.
It is probably for the best that NetherRealm was not successful with this endeavor, as fans were predominantly against the practice of incorporating well-known names into the series just for the sake of having them. Most notably, Sonya Blade was portrayed by Ronda Rousey in Mortal Kombat 11. Fans were highly critical of her performance, although some now say that Megan Fox's portrayal of Nitara is actually even worse. Then there is the appearance of Van Damme, which initially excited fans but left some disappointed when they saw the end result - it doesn't really resemble him. Without the resemblance, we are left with some questionable voice acting performances.
Another drawback of hiring these actors is that it is difficult and likely quite expensive to bring them back to the studio for new dialogue. In Mortal Kombat 11, Sonya's pre-fight banter with DLC fighters had to be pieced together using pre-recorded dialogue from other scenes, which can feel quite awkward.